Storms cause flooding, knock out power

  • Utility workers respond to a home at 230 Southampton Road in Westhampton, Tuesday, after lightning struck a tree, at left, causing a limb to fall and hit the roof of a home and a pickup truck and bring down service lines around it. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Utility workers respond to a home at 230 Southampton Road in Westhampton, Tuesday, after lightning struck a tree, at left, causing a limb to fall and hit the roof of a home and a pickup truck and bring down service lines around it. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Vehicles are stranded on a Worcester street during flash flooding from storms Tuesday. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE VIA AP

Published: 7/17/2018 12:33:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Severe thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon are being blamed for knocking out power to more than 1,000 Eversource customers in Amherst, Pelham and Hadley, as well as flooding South Hadley Town Hall and taking down a large limb that fell onto a house and vehicle in Westhampton.

In Amherst, a lightning strike shortly after 1 p.m. hit a power line on Pelham Road that delivers electricity to both Amherst and Pelham, leaving most of Eversource’s 656 customers in Pelham without power, and another 533 customers in Amherst in the dark. An additional 336 customers lost power in Hadley and a handful lost power in Belchertown.

Eversource spokeswoman Priscella Ress said in an email she anticipated power being restored by 5 p.m.

“Our crews are on scene making the repairs as quickly and safely as possible,” Ress said.

Amherst Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren, who lives in Pelham, said the power was restored there around 3:30 p.m.

Stromgren said the downed power lines on Pelham Road caused smoking but no real brush fire. The call about the power lines came into the fire department at 1:05 p.m., he said, and the department arrived on the scene around 1:15. Fire crews left the scene around 1:45 after Eversource de-energized the lines, he said.

In South Hadley, Town Hall was flooded as a result of the rains, according to police.

In Westhampton around midday, lightning caused a tree limb to fall and hit the roof of a home and a pickup truck at 230 Southampton Road. The falling limb also brought down service lines around the house.

Westhampton Fire Chief Christopher Norris said the elderly male homeowner, who was home at the time, was not injured. The roof and vehicle sustained minor damage, he said. Norris said Eversource temporarily shut off power in an isolated area on the street to rehang the wires.

Across the state, the storms also caused the cancellation of more than 200 flights at Logan Airport, and delayed 23 percent of all flights, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said more than 3,000 electricity customers lost power statewide at one point during the storm.

Floods were reported on many streets in Worcester and Oxford. Some towns, like North Grafton, received more than 3 inches of rain.

The front that brought Tuesday’s downpours also brought an end to the humid heat of recent days. Clear sunshine, with overnight lows in the 50s are forecast until Sunday, when rain is predicted to return.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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